Memorial ride for the missing happening in Evansdale | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey

EVANSDALE – Memories of the missing and murdered will live on this weekend with an annual motorcycle ride.

The 11th annual Ride and Drive for the Girls, in honor of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins, will be held Saturday, July 15.

Registration for the event will begin at 8 a.m. at Lofty’s Lounge, 3480 Lafayette Road, Evansdale. The ride and drive begins at 11 a.m.

The event will feature Benny Affrunti as a keynote speaker. His ex-wife and mother of his children, Melissa Trumpy, went missing last year in Illinois.

There will be a raffle after the ride. Raffle items include a rifle and a pistol.

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This week marks the 11th year since the two girls were abducted July 13, 2012, at Meyers Lake in Evansdale. In December of that year their bodies were found in a wilderness area in Bremer County. The girls would have been 20 and 23 this year.

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Drew Collins, father of Elizabeth Collins, said the idea of a motorcycle ride was introduced in 2012 and they’ve stuck with it ever since.

Money raised from the event is donated to Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers. The organization offers cash rewards in exchange for information that leads to an arrest. Last year, money raised went toward giving Xavior Harrelson a headstone.

Harrelson disappeared near Montezuma, in Tama County, in May 2021. That September his remains were found by a farmer north of the town. No arrests have been made in that case.

“I don’t want to just make this just about our girls because there’s so many other families going through the same stuff who haven’t found anything,” Collins said.

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He gave the example of Larry Crum of Indiana, whose then two-year-old daughter, Amber, disappeared in 1983 in Texas. Amber’s body has never been found and no one has been arrested in the case.

“(Crum) doesn’t have a grave site. He can’t visit his daughter,” Collins said. “I don’t like what happened, but at least I know where my daughter’s at.”

During the ride, family members of missing people across the country hold up posters of their loved ones.

Collins said the ride also keeps cases at the front of everyone’s mind.

“People bring families out along the route and watch the bikes go by,” he said. “Kids ask their parents what is this about, and parents can talk about stranger danger. It does a lot of good.”

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New this year is the formation of the Elizabeth Collins Foundation.

The organization is dedicated to helping families of missing individuals and educating the community on the prevention of abduction, sexual abuse and trafficking.

Collins said the organization was founded because he and other members of his family want to help other people after receiving a lot of community support.

“We want to help other families and give it back,” he said. “No one knows until they go through this how catastrophic it is to lose a child. When you lose a child like this, there’s no words for it. We just want to help as many people as we can for those going through that.”

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As for Lyric and Elizabeth’s case, Collins said there are no new tips. He is hoping new evidence comes in or technology is created to help with the current evidence. Otherwise, he said, the case seems stagnant.

“We’re not giving up. We’re not going to quit until we find who killed these girls,” he said. “Things might not look good, but we’re gonna keep going.”


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